How To Fix A Beeping Smoke Alarm
These days, smoke alarms are compulsory to have in all Brisbane homes. And while they serve an important purpose because of their life-saving properties, there are times when they can trigger without warning and start beeping even without an actual fire emergency present.
So what should you do if your smoke alarm at home is beeping continuously? Rather than just trying to ignore the issue or disabling your smoke alarm yourself, it’s definitely worth investigating the cause of the problem in more detail.
Below are some things to consider before contacting a smoke alarm electrician to fix your beeping smoke alarm.
What Do The Different Smoke Alarm Beeps Mean?
Did you know that smoke alarms emit different beeping sounds depending on how the smoke detector is being triggered? Below is a quick rundown on the various types of smoke alarm beeps and what they can mean.
Single beeps: that occur every 30-60 seconds apart could mean your alarm’s battery needs replacing.
Multiple beeps: where your alarm is making different beeping sounds can mean a few different things depending on what type of smoke alarm you have.
Multiple beeps can mean that your alarm:
- May have detected carbon monoxide (if your alarm has this feature).
- May have reached the end of its life.
- Is potentially malfunctioning or,
- Could be signalling that an interconnected alarm has detected smoke.
Be sure to check your alarm’s manual for more information on what each of the different types of beeps mean for your specific smoke alarm model.
Continuous beeps: usually indicate that your alarm has detected smoke.
Please note that if you have interconnected alarms throughout the property the smoke detection could be coming from any of the interlinked devices.
Common Reasons Why Your Smoke Alarm Is Beeping
Below are some common reasons why smoke detectors can trigger and beep even without a fire being present:
- Flat battery – if your alarm is beeping every 30-60 seconds its battery (if it has one) may need replacing. Smoke alarms have different power sources:
- 9 volt battery – where the battery can be easily removed and replaced.
- 10 year sealed lithium battery – with a non-removable battery that lasts 10 years after which the whole unit will need replacing.
- 240 volt hard wiring – where the alarm is powered by the property’s main power supply.
- Dust & debris – dust particles and insects when carried by air can trigger your smoke alarm.
- Environmental factors – sunlight, temperature fluctuations and humidity can cause water vapours to build up near the smoke sensor, triggering the alarm in the same way exposure to smoke would.
- Battery obstructions – Sometimes smoke alarms will keep beeping because the pull tab hasn’t been removed from the battery compartment and is stopping the battery from connecting properly.
- End of life – constant beeping could be an indicator that it’s time to replace your current smoke alarm. Generally speaking, smoke alarms have an average life of about 10 years and will need replacing around this time.
- Location – be sure that your smoke alarm isn’t in close proximity to a stove, bathroom or fireplace which could be accidentally triggering your alarm. Photoelectric detectors are very sensitive to steam and dust and could be triggering your alarm.
- Power surges – a power surge can affect your smoke detector, causing it to beep continuously until it is manually reset.
- Faulty alarm – a smoke alarm that fails to operate after being fully tested may actually be faulty and need urgent replacing (particularly when they are older than 10 years).
Tips To Prevent False Alarms
In order for smoke alarms to adequately provide protection and save lives, it’s important to keep them in top condition and get them serviced and maintained as required.
At the same time, there are a few things that can be done at home to minimise the chances of your alarm accidentally triggering:
- Keep them clean – Ensure the cover or sensor chamber is not covered in dirt or dust.
- Ventilation – Ensure rooms are adequately ventilated and that the alarms are positioned away from bathrooms, fireplaces or the kitchen oven/stove.
- Keep air movement to a minimum – air movement can trigger your smoke alarm so be sure to position them away from a drafty location that can blow dust and debris near the sensors.
When To Call The Professionals
If your smoke alarm is beeping continuously and you’re not too sure what to do, please don’t attempt to disable it or remove the smoke alarm battery yourself. Reach out to the professionals at Brisbane Power Electricians.
Our qualified smoke alarm electricians can check over your smoke alarm to investigate any issues you may have, correctly reposition them within your home if needed and most of all ensure they are functioning optimally for your safety and peace of mind.
Call our friendly team at Brisbane Power Electricians anytime 24/7 for all your smoke alarm repair and maintenance needs on 1300 032 003.